2 April 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked World Autism Awareness Day today by appealing for stepped-up understanding of the disability that affects millions worldwide. Autism, which affects people all around the globe, impedes the ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioural challenges. Estimates vary, but it is believed that up to nearly 70 million worldwide are afflicted with the disability. In a message, Mr. Ban said that autism is both “complex and inadequately understood. “Children and adults with autism – and, indeed, those living with disabilities in general – have a double burden.” Not only do they face the daily challenges posed by their disability, but they must also cope with society’s negative attitudes, limited support for their needs and, “in some cases, blatant discrimination,” he noted. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities seeks to counter such attitudes. That pact, which entered into force in May 2009, asserts the rights to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, freedom from exploitation and equal recognition before the law for the world’s estimated 650 million persons with disabilities. So far 144 countries have signed the treaty and 83 have ratified it. In December 2007, the General Assembly designated 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day to galvanize global efforts to promote greater understanding about the disorder which affects tens of millions around the globe. “Let us also look within and re-evaluate our attitudes and those of our societies so we can remove the prejudices that discriminate against persons with disabilities,” the Secretary-General stressed today.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna walks to a news conference in the Foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Thursday June 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld OTTAWA – Manitoba and Saskatchewan have been given until the end of December to sign on to the federal government’s national climate change agreement to avoid losing out on millions of dollars to help cut emissions.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled details Thursday of the Trudeau government’s promised $2-billion Low Carbon Economy Fund, to be spent in two streams over the next five years.The first is a $600-million Low Carbon Economy Challenge for industry and public sector projects, to be launched this fall and doled out on a merit-based, project-by-project basis. Municipalities, provinces, territories, indigenous governments and organizations, businesses and not-for-profit organizations can all apply for funds, which will be prioritized for projects that provide the biggest emissions reductions for the lowest cost.The second is a $1.4-billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund per capita fund for provinces and territories that have signed on to the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.Each eligible province will receive a base of $30 million plus a per-capita share of up to $1 billion.Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the only two provinces that have not signed on, have been told they will only get their share of the funding if they sign up by the end of the year.If not, their shares — about $66 million for Manitoba and $62 million for Saskatchewan — will be transferred to the challenge fund. Those provinces can apply for funding under the challenge fund regardless of whether they join the framework.McKenna said “it’s only fair” that the provinces that stepped up to help Canada meet its international commitments to reduce emissions get to share in the fund.“We’re certainly working very hard with Saskatchewan and Manitoba and are very hopeful that they’ll sign up to the pan-Canadian plan on climate change,” McKenna said.“But let’s be clear, all provinces and territories agreed in the Vancouver declaration with the prime minister that we needed to have a credible plan with serious actions that would meet our international obligations.“The pan-Canadian framework on climate change represents that plan and we will be supporting provinces and territories that have signed up for the plan.”Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, however, called the plan “extortion.”“Withholding funds from provinces that don’t go along with the federal government’s policies represents a new low in Canadian federalism,” Wall said in a Facebook post.“Justin Trudeau promised a new era of co-operative federalism. This is new, all right. It is, by an order of magnitude, more punitive, petty and heavy-handed than anything Stephen Harper ever did.”Wall has already threatened to sue Ottawa if it imposes a carbon tax on his province, as it has promised to do by spring 2018 if Saskatchewan doesn’t put a plan in place. All the provinces on board with the framework have agreed to impose a carbon price of $10 per tonne by 2018, rising to $50 per tonne by 2022.The low carbon fund was first created in the 2016 federal budget to help provinces fund initiatives to significantly cut greenhouse gases, part of Canada’s race to meet its targets under the Paris climate change accord.Canada must cut almost 200 million tonnes of emissions by 2030 to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gases to 30 per cent below 2005 levels — equivalent to taking more than twice as many cars off Canada’s roads as are even in the country.Ontario’s environment and climate change ministry issued a statement Thursday cheering the measure and touting its own work to date on the file.“Ontario’s climate action efforts support this federal framework, allowing us to achieve real emissions reductions at the lowest possible cost for people and the economy,” the statement said.“We see this as an opportunity to form partnerships, and to further deliver on our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Canada meet its commitments under the Paris agreement.”The federal government wants the money spent on projects that significantly reduce emissions, prioritizing those that are most cost-effective. Initiatives must also be in addition to existing projects or those that are already planned.— Follow @mrabson on Twitter by Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 15, 2017 9:08 am MDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ‘Only fair’: McKenna on excluding Saskatchewan, Manitoba from $2B carbon fund